LAMBOURN - 1
Photo : British Railways Photo : British Railways
On March the 31st 1898 the Board of Trade inspection of The Lambourn Valley railway took place. The inspecting officer Col Yorke, declared that subject to a speed limit of 25 miles an hour and axle loadings not exceeding 8 tons, opening of the railway was approved. The private opening was set for Saturday April the 2nd 1898 and the full public opening for the following Monday the 4th of April.
Photo : British Railways Photo : British Railways
Lambourn station as on the day of opening showing the original timber water tank and the lightly laid trackwork. Track construction was of flat bottom rail spiked directly to the sleepers and then ballasted over. The first public service train into Lambourn hauled four Brown Marshall coaches that were purchased by the company chairman.
Photo : British Railways Photo : Unknown
South Berkshire M.P. Mr. G Mount was aboard, his duty was to open the line officially on arrival at the terminus, both he and Mr Gipps made the journey on the footplate along with the driver and fireman. Thirty-Seven minutes after leaving Newbury, the train arrived in Lambourn welcomed by a celebratory peel of bells from the Parish Church and music from a local Brass Band.    Two further trips were made that day each carrying around 80 fare-paying passengers.
Photo : Unknown
The  Lambourn Valley Railway Company ran as an independent company from the 4th of April 1898 until it was taken over by the Great Western Railway Company on July the 1st 1905. The new owners now had control over 12¼ miles of cheaply built line, the first job would be to bring it up to the exacting standards the GWR.  Within 2 or 3 months, the line was relayed with pre-used material from GWR stock. The communication was system was improved with the installation of two-way telephones linking Newbury to all the manned stations along the length of the line.  Lambourn Terminus also under went a transformation during this extensive upgrading.

Photo  :  A Attewell
Access to the station was - appropriately enough - Via Station Road through a 15' 6" single span gate. The rear of the Station building was supported on brick arches whilst the steeply graded bank to the rear of the platform was inlaid with granite blocks for support.
Photo : British Railways Photo J.H.Moss
Photo : LGRP Photo : Unknown

By the 1920s, Road transport was starting to impact on the railway companies quite noticeably and in an effort to compete with the private transport operators, Great Western aquired a large fleet of it's own road vehicles.Great Western's very first local bus service was inaugurated on the 17th of August 1925 and ran from Swindon to Lambourn, travelling via Stratton Park, Wanborough and Aldbourne. A second Swindon service was introduced on the 26th of July 1926 passing through Ashbury, Wanborough and Coate. This particular route lasted just three years, and was withdrawn on the 6th of July 1929.
Photo : G Allen Collection Photo : G Allen Collection

This view shows The staff with one of the Thorneycoft buses used on the Swindon to Lambourn service. The Bus is parked on the Station platform which was its defined arrival and departure point.
Left - Signalman Bert Allen with his dog outside the signal box

Photo : Unknown Photo  : G Allen Collection
Photo: J. Smith Photo : Photomatic
Two almost identical views of  1901 class 2007 as the crew prepare for a somewhat uncomfortably cold and draughty journey back to Newbury Station. The photos would have been taken in or around 1934.
Photo : Fox Photos Photo : Fox Photos
Photo : Fox Photos Photo : T.B Sands
Mention Lambourn to almost anyone and they immediately connect it with the Horse Racing industry. Race Specials were a common occurrance on the line especially throughout the 15 years between 1920 and 1935, a time when race traffic was at it's pinnacle. Several of the Lambourn trainers had private horse boxes with their names' sign-written on either side. These boxes were usually Paco 'A's which were dual fitted for for working to Redcar or Newcastle over LNER tracks, where westinghouse braking was a required commodity.
Photo : P.J Garland Photo : R.S Carpenter Collection
Photo : Dr.Ian C Allen Photo :  S.W Baker

Photo : G Allen Collection Photo : J.H Moss
Photo : A Attewell Photo : British Railways
The Signalman's comforts included a stove, cupboards, desk and chair.  The business end of the box contained a stud locking frame with 20 levers at 5 inch centres. This view taken in 1938 also shows 9 spares (painted white). Other signalling equipment included a No. 9 token instrument for the section of line to Welford it replaced the earlier tablet instrument. Such a simple box was for many years classified 6 in the GWR grading system, Class 1 being the highest.
Photo :  V.R Webster